Marcie "Mom" Glanzer's Column

Thursday, April 14, 2005

4.7.05 4.14.05

The Patron Saint of Dogs

Have you ever done anything which you felt was so beyond the call of duty, so above who you are, that you felt you should be entitled to some sort of prize? Maybe not the Nobel Peace Prize, but an award of some kind at the very least? Well, I have done many disgusting things in my life; I have worked in a nursing home where I had to give enemas, clean out bedpans, feed mush to people...I have had 3 children and have changed their diapers, wiped butts, and cleaned up after a night of throwing up. I live on a farm where I have been asked to help clean out moldy grain bins, or sheep stalls which stink to high heaven (as Ryan can attest to!). But today, I did something that was so disgusting, so putrid, so horrifying that I have no choice but to share it with others. It has to do with my dog, Simba, who is an elderly Sheltie. She has long hair, and sits rather close to the ground so many things get entangled in her fur...cockleburs, grass, name it, she has had it in her coat. Since the weather has turned warmer, my husband demanded that I quit letting the dogs in at night. Simba usually gets to come in the house, while Brandy, our Golden Retriever has to stay out in the porch. He figures that with fur coats, they are plenty able to survive outdoors. Which is true, so I agreed to keep them outside. As a result, I don't get as close to Simba to see what she has picked up during the day. One day, after going for a walk, the dogs decided to cool themselves off by taking a plunge in our ditch which is filled with sewage. This is the ditch where all the water goes when the toilet flushes, the washer drains, the dishwasher, etc...needless to say, it's a smelly, swamp filled with black sludge. I chewed the dogs out, but good, calling them every name in the book, (like they cared), and declared it would be a cold day in hell before they would ever come in again. Which leads back to my story today. I noticed that Simba didn't seem to be feeling very perky. She didn't bark her fool head off when I came home from work and just moped around. I decided to check on her, and that's when I noticed all the weeds caught in her tail. I lifted it to begin pulling them out, when I noticed something far more sinister than mere weeds. It seems the sewage had really collected on her underbelly and butt area, then dried to a stiff, mudlike mess. This in turn, blocked her rectum (pardon my bluntness, but what else do I call it?) and when she tried to take a crap, it stuck to her butt. This must have gone on for a couple of days, because we had a mess of massive proportions. Where to start? I brought her into the porch and put on gloves and breathed through my nose while I tried to cut the chunks away from her. After 10 minutes of this, I gave her a bath, having to drain it twice to put clean water in, then took scissors to her again to cut away the rotten areas. She ended up looking like a new dog and I believe she feels the same way...she can now wag her tail, and isn't moping around. Hopefully when the urge strikes, she will be able to take a crap like any other dog and have it land on the ground. It is for the unselfish act that I performed today that I believe I am in line for the Dog Sainthood Award. This goes way beyond normal pet care and should be considered by Saint Peter when I enter the pearly gates. Next time I get a dog, it will be a short-haired something...maybe a Chinese Crested that has no hair. And Ryan, if you ever get into this condition, don't ask me to clean you up!


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